An inmate who was serving time for a horrific attack in Axminster was caught with a vicious home-made weapon in his cell at Channings Wood prison near Newton Abbot.

Connor Lee had been recalled to jail for breaching his licence when he was found with the sharpened metal spike hidden in the mattress of the bed in his single cell.

The weapon had been created by embedding a straightened out piece of coat hanger into the battery of a vape and he had been asked to hide it by another inmate. He told warders he had been planning to hand it in at an amnesty later that week.

Lee was in jail for an attack on a pub customer who had spat at his car in an argument about speeding in the road outside the Red Lion pub in Axminster in May 2019. He deliberately drove his Hyundai at the other man and fractured his leg in two places.

He then drove his car away and later set fire to it in the basement car park of a block of flats in Harbour Road, Seaton, causing a fireball which put residents at risk but did not lead to any further injury.

He was jailed for four years and three months at Exeter Crown Court in December 2019 and had been released and recalled when he was found with the makeshift blade in September 2022.

Lee, aged 23, of of Wellesley Road, Charmouth, admitted possessing a knife in prison and was ordered to do 300 hours of unpaid community work and 15 hours of rehabilitation activities by Recorder Mr Richard Paige at Exeter Crown Court.

The judge told him he accepted he had no made the weapon and planned to hand it over at an amnesty and that he recognised the progress Lee has made since being released for the second time last year.

He also criticised the 17 month delay in bringing the case to court which happened despite Lee making full admissions in a police interview just days after the weapon was found.

Mr Michael Green, prosecuting, said prison officers searched Lee’s cell on the Dart wing of Channings Wood Prison on September 1, 2022, at a time when he was held on recall. They found the vape battery with a sharpened piece of wire sticking out of it.

Miss Rachel Smith, defending, said Lee had intended to hand in the weapon to an amnesty which was due to take place on September 5. She said he has stayed out of trouble since his release, he has cut himself off from bad influences and tried to find work.